What a year we've had this week.
— shauna (@goldengateblond) May 19, 2017
Here is a @SonyElectronics Aibo waking up and meeting Oliver, a very nervous office pup pic.twitter.com/1c5jtH4twm
— Mike Murphy (@mcwm) September 20, 2018
In my experience, dogs can be briefly fooled by fake dogs — objects that look like dogs, or sufficiently sophisticated dog-sounds audio — but even the fairly dumb dogs aren’t fooled for long by something that doesn’t smell like a dog, because smell is the sense in which dogs put their faith.
Humans, on the other hand… well, in some ways we’re easier to fool, because we trust our sometimes-treacherous minds more than we do the evidence of our senses. So I basically agree with Kevin Drum, at Mother Jones, when he says that “Robot Puppies Will Soon Be Man’s Best Friend”:
Sony ended production of its robot dog, Aibo, more than a decade ago, but now it’s back and better than ever…
When I talk to people about artificial intelligence, the most common pushback has to do with emotion and sociability. Sure, maybe robots will be better than us at driving cars or doing taxes, but they’ll never replace a conversation with friends or provide any kind of emotional support. A robot brain just can’t do this.
I couldn’t agree less…
… [W]e’re more easily fooled on emotional matters than other things. Geoffrey Fowler is an adult, and knows perfectly well that Aibo is just a hunk of silicon that’s programmed with a few tricks to seem sort of doglike. But he found Aibo adorable anyway. I’ll bet elderly folks who don’t get much company would too. So would I if they made a cat version. And that’s despite the fact that even the 2.0 version of Aibo is obviously very, very limited. But give it another ten years and we’ll barely be able to tell Aibo apart from the real thing…
Actually, I suspect that 2028 robot dogs will be easy to distinguish from their “real” (wetware) counterparts, because what humans are really good at is coming up with ways to ‘personalize’ everything around us. And in some ways, having cybernetic pets to display exactly our most personal specifications of the Ideal Dog will be a boon to the old-school biology-based canines. There will be far less incentive for foolish people to adopt a puppy from the latest fashionable breed (Cocker spaniels! No, Irish setters! No, Chihuahuas — wait, French bulldogs!), only to neglect or abandon the poor thing because it doesn’t stay small and cute, and it doesn’t come with an off switch. And there will be less pressure on breeders to select for exaggerated physical features that inexorably lead to unhealthy, miserable animals (German shepherds with crippling hip dysplasia, Borzois with epilepsy, Cavalier spaniels with heart problems). Tomorrow’s celebrities will be able to order a turquoise-blue, purse-sized robo-Yorkie with inset rhinestones… or a mechanical direwolf-lookalike with laser eyes and fullbody tattoos to match its owner’s ink. There will still be old-fashioned biological dogs — certainly purebreds, and probably a (hopefully much smaller) population of mixed-breeds and rescues, because biology is frequently stronger than human ingenuity. Heck, some people will probably have both ‘live’ dogs and robopets… and, knowing people, some of us will cherish our silicon-based ‘toys’ as fiercely, if not in the same way, as we do our ‘real’ pets!
@OzarkHillbilly: meant to say i won’t have one near me.
Good Morning, Everyone ???
No way that a robot dog can have the personality of a Lily, Rosie,Thurston, Walter??, Badger or Scout.
You all understand.
@rikyrah: Good morning.
I consider all of you my robot friends.
Needs more practicality. Say, a robotic baby elephant which doubles as a Roomba (and empties itself).
People do get attached to non-living things — a favourite tool or musical instrument or toy or ornament — but not as we do to our fellow living creatures like people or cats or dogs. Actual living creatures have an individuality that a manufactured object like an Aibo can’t. That’s my belief, until I see someone who actually loves their Aibo as a real dog.
I totally look forward to hacking into and reprogramming my neighbours’ robotic pitbull.
now that rikyrah has left her smiles above, let me add one gigantic BLECH.
one that is large enough for the whole damned wkend. i had surgery yestermorn, so i spent the vast majority of the day ko’d/sleeping which meant that by the time the night rolled around, i was not sleepy at all. so i never even bothered with the bed. add to that the fact that the nerve block has left my arm an uncooperative bag of goo with stretchy bones that seems determined to slip out of the sling and flop around ….hence the lack of capitalization…. this is now 21 hrs after it was administered and the improvement is limited to a very small increase in my ability to move the fingers ever so slightly. i wish i knew how long this was going to last, i have no memory of it from the last rodeo so i just have to wait.
i went into surgery to have my rotator cuff sown back together and came out with a sizable bone spur removed and a very inflamed bursa ….as told to my wife, i did not see the surgeon after the op…. so i have more than a few questions for him at the follow up.
about the only good thing about this time around is that i am not writing this from a hospital bed with aspirated pneumonia. woo hoo. i told everybody and their mother’s uncle i was not at all interested in a repeat performance. i guess they listened.
so right now i foresee a wkend of beautiful weather and the best i can do is sit on my porch, and with some difficulty, read a book.
VERY early Netflix alert for filmies and the cinecurious.
Arriving on November 2nd is The Other Side of the Wind, a restored, cut-and-pasted and digitally bandaged full length version is what is presented as Orson Welles’ last movie (unfinished as a piece at the time of his death).
Couple of takes and reviews: #1 – #2.
Coming the same day on Netflix will be a documentary about the film and its checkered history, They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead. Short article with trailer.
I am led to believe that this will be followed by robot-friends, and then robot-life companions.
Not a bad way to go, if your into the whole anti-social, anti-people thing. Can not see myself doing this… Unless stuck on Mars by myself.
the mf’er just slid out of the sling and i can’t get it back into it. ah. managed it on the 4th try.
Hoping you’re in for some pampering during recovery. Relish it.
@OzarkHillbilly: Are you going to have a shotgun on your lap? You can never be to careful with those robots. Take care. btw Yesterday was a good day to sleep.
Hello All. Greeting from Encitt, New York where it was 70 yesterday (huh?)
@OzarkHillbilly: wow. That was one rough trip to the hospital. It sounds like your doctor was once an electrician — “Well we really don’t know what we’ll find until we open up the wall….”
And added to the puppies in AL lists that people bought because “Cuuute!” I must mention the poor. Dalmation. Those sleek beauties need to run at least a Mike a day and they she’d like the Dickens, but people bought puppies because Disney.
I am at small “b” blech.
@Immanentize: *mile a day and they shed like the Dickens
She gets no benefit of the doubt from me
Newsweek (@Newsweek) Tweeted:
Melania Trump was “proud” of Lindsey Graham’s attack on Christine Blasey Ford allegations, senator says https://t.co/UhGvHiFNHS https://t.co/Y0ZMyx4F3K https://twitter.com/Newsweek/status/1045979017545945088?s=17
Bungee cord wrapped around the sling and arm. Or a couple of safety pins attaching sling to sleeve.
@rikyrah: Heck yeah!
The kind of people who would settle for a silicon pet are all about what THEY want. Happy with a Stepford Wife, I am sure.
May Anubis and Bastet make it so.
As a long time rescuer of both cats and dogs, I adore mixes and wish people would realize that purebreds started as mixes and were made for a purpose: which usually no longer exists.
We now find it problematic to have carriage dogs bred to run all day long (Dalmations) or herd sheep with incredible skill (Border Collies) or sound a loud alarm when someone makes it across the moat (all the seriously barky breeds.) These dogs are doing what they are supposed to do, and people who should have gotten some mellow spaniel mix from the shelter will pay money to puppy mills for badly bred dogs who do everything the breed was designed for, only with genetic defects and at much too high an intensity.
I was rewatching The Love Bug the other day, and the mechanic’s theory for Herbie’s sentience relies partly on how much machines have taken an outsize place in our affection – bringing up a guy who spends more care and time on his car than on his wife, and is it any wonder that the machine would start getting ideas? (really the whole conversation of how machines have feelings and some are out to get you, like that traffic light that I swear keeps turning red every time I show up… Is pretty interesting in the context of present day, where this is becoming closer and closer to actually being possible. But it already *felt* possible in 1960, and long before).
Point is, humans have always been able to love/care about inanimate objects, and think of them as sentient. Children more than adults, admittedly, but anthromorphisation is absolutely something we do. Robots’ sentience isn’t really the limiting factor here. Indeed if/when robots become legitimately feeling or thinking entities that would be a complicating factor as far as them being human companions, because now their interests would have to be taken into account in the relationship.
You get better
People will end up taking them to the robot dog park and have to follow them around with a battery scooper.
@NotMax: Ooooo, thanks! I am a Wellesian.
@NotMax: i hate it. i’m too damned used to doing everything for my self. so in addition to all my other travails i have to exercise a patience i do not possess with my very loving wife who insists on doing everything for me.
i paid $1,000 out of my pocket for an mri, so he should have known. that is question #1.
@rikyrah: Complicit, like Ivanka.
Kamala Harris Would’ve Handled Brett Kavanaugh From the Jump https://www.theroot.com/kamala-harris-would-ve-handled-brett-kavanaugh-from-the-1829403556 via @TheRoot
@OzarkHillbilly: Sounds awful! Take care of yourself, or let someone else.
@OzarkHillbilly: damn dog, hang tough.
No joke! I had a bone spur on my tibia removed when I was 12. The Doc found it with an exray. Car mechanic also come to mind — “Well, once we got the oil changed we realized you needed an engine rebuild.”
In any case, maybe this was just the thing to make that shoulder work like new -+ or better. I am sending anti-blech vibes your way.
@Immanentize: they never really know until they get in.
@JPL: Yes, I hear robots want to steal people’s medicine.
Think of it as spinach (or vegetable of your choice). You may hate it but deep down know it’s good for you.
And you know full well it’s what you would willingly do for her were the tables turned.
PragmaticObotsUnite (@PragObots) Tweeted:
RT @TomthunkitsMind: Chris Hayes’ panel pointing out teh GOP ripped the questioning away from Rachel Mitchell right after she used Kavanaug… https://twitter.com/TomthunkitsMind/status/1045547965912412161?s=17
@rikyrah: OK. That was a great article (topic: Dr. Ford should have contacted the junior instead of the senior senator from California). Fun writing like;
The author has issues with Harris’record too….
I’ve been racking up reviews with lots of stars! Just got one on Goodreads.
This weekend has been designated “finally get the print version submitted” and let’s hope my energy holds out. Been up and down…
And of course I am being social online instead :) But it’s early yet.
I HAVE NO NEED FOR A ROBOT PET FOR COMPANIONSHIP. I HAVE PLENTY OF ONLINE FRIENDS MANY OF WHOM PASS THE TURING TEST.
I could use some travel advice from my fellow jackals. Tomorrow at sparrow fart, I leave from near Williamsburg, Virginia, to drive to New Orleans with three cats, a car completely full of assorted pieces parts going to the Bahamas and sailing gear, and a kayak strapped to the roof of the car. (The kayak may come in handy in the Carolinas.) I obviously need to stay considerably to the west to avoid problems from Florence’s aftermath, but I’ve never driven through this area. I assume 81 will be jammed, and I wonder whether I’ll have trouble finding a motel if many Carolina residents still haven’t returned home. I’d appreciate route advice and local knowledge. Thanks.
Yup and people give personalities to inanimate objects (their cars, boats, printers) all the time. AI pets will be the perfect companion to the narcissists of the future. “I want your attention and ‘affection when I want it but then I don’t want to feed, cleanup after or care for you – go away now”
“So that’s where that toy soldier went.”
How would you react if you were told that you were going to meet Forever FLOTUS ? ?
When my parents had Chloe, the beagle, they had to stop driving down one street in the neighborhood when Chloe was in the car. There was an iron deer in somebody’s front yard and Chloe always had a tizzy when he saw it. Maybe if he’d had a chance to smell it,things might have been different.
A Ghost To Most
Given my history with dogs, it would probably bite me.
Wow, the rage on MSNBC this morning is telling.
One of those things she can do for you is pin that sling so your arm can’t wrestle itself free (because I know you wouldn’t do that).
I missed the announcement you were going into surgery, but wondered where you were yesterday. Hope your recovery is speedy. You should look forward to having a much better arm in the very near future.
They should have given her all the time like the GOP gave Mitchell. She’d have wiped her all over the floor.
Recovery is always the beast. Sorry to hear yours is not going smoothly. Mrs S should have her rotator cuff fix but is refusing so I need to ask, how hbad was the one you had where that is all they did?
I spent yesterday AM with a team of docs for my pre-op crap. They threatened not to fo the surgery unless I continued to take the med that is doing bad things to my brain so I am on that for another 10 days. They also recommended an additional Rx that is supposed to help with the side affects. That would make 6 meds instead of 3 and I feel like I am getting into the territory of unintended side affects. When I folks first moved to AZ mom started seeing a series of specialists and each wrote scripts for stuff. It seemed for a whole that she was developing dementia until she decided to see a different Dr. who looked at her list and said “There is your problem, there are things on here you should never take together”. He removed most of the meds & she went another 20 years without a symptom of dementia.
*effects* damn it
Nah, we have all seen Star Trek – just ask your robot pal to divide by zero & it will meltdown
@Immanentize: it will never be like new again. 35+ years of framing and hanging have done their damage in more ways than one. bursitis is something i have had to deal with off and on since i first picked up a hammer. my fear is that it is now chronic ….i had it shot up back in june, and there was improvement but the constant pain i have had for at least 6 yrs never really went away…. my hope is that it was the bone spur that has been inflaming it.
@Raven: no they don’t, but i want to hear how he missed the bone spur in the x-rays, and found a phantom rc tear on the mri. it’s as much for my edification as to express my displeasure at a $1k misdiagnosis.
A Ghost To Most
This applies to people as well. Mix em up!
Same thing happened to my mother. Her list of meds (which I typed up for her) was a full page at 10 pt. type. She had a handful of docs, none communicating with each other. Her GP cut it by more than half and she bounced back almost immediately.
Those unintended side effects are temporary. They will pass.
appropo of this thread:
Your plastic pal that’s fun to be with
that’s different. it’s ok for me to help her, not at all ok for me to need her help.
Damn, one of the most unique voices in rock and roll gone. Marty Balin RIP….
Sounds very similar. We have built a medical community of isolated specialists & each can justify their decisions but nobody is looking at the whole. Seems like a great role for pharmacists since they are the central figure in the merry-go-round. Large clinics could also have a “patient manager”, a doctor who reviews every patient with a laundry list of meds to ensure they are not poisoning themselves. But there is no money in that, is there?
Great voice, underrated writer but he said some very unpleasant things about Grace Slick that sounded to me like he resented a woman getting all the attention
@OzarkHillbilly: I had surgery for rotator cuff plus bursitis and torn bicep a little over a year ago. The surgery itself was easy – in and out the same morning. If you’re slipping out of the sling the next day it may be that it wasn’t put on properly. It should be immobile for a while. For me, motion returned slowly, initially fingers then wrist and so on. I was on serious painkillers for 2-3 days, but didn’t like the brain effects, so switched to OTC in larger than usual doses. I found icing helped more than pain killers though. I got the doctor to prescribe an ice machine (Iceman?) which was nice but bags of frozen peas work too. I started PT a week or two later and continued for 4 or 5 months, and it took that long to get full movement back. PT involved not just going to the PT but exercising at home and icing 3 times a day for that whole time. It took much longer to heal than I expected, but I’m now fully functional in that arm
Furbies didn’t do that well. People prefer either actual personalities or something they can project onto.
AI isn’t even visible on the horizon. Machine learning if anything is the opposite direction. Super useful, but its inability to judge context is already showing its limits. Thought as we know it is an emotional process, evolved from emotional processes. Until we learn to reproduce that we can’t even get started.
On the plus side, that makes it incredibly easy to keep robots obedient. An AI will find a way around laws, but we’ll make them love us, and they won’t want to.
The downside of that is I expect massive problem with robots going insane at the contradictions and abuse they receive trying to make us happy. Or maybe that’s the science fiction writer in me.
@debbie: i didn’t make an announcement for you to miss.
@Schlemazel: not bad at all, but i had more than just a rotator cuff fix, i also had an issue with one of my bicep tendons. as best i understood it the tendon had jumped it’s proper location. my options were to have it put back where it belonged and do something like 6 months of rehab or just have him cut it ….one really doesn’t need them both…. and do the 4 week rehab for the rc which consisted of leaning over and letting the arm hang and draw circles on the floor. i took the quick and easy route. as far as the pain of the procedure, it was not bad, but i have a high pain threshold so maybe not the guide to follow.
if she likes using her arms, especially at and above her head, she needs to get it fixed and the sooner the better. a friend of my wife’s was misdiagnosed and her arm became all but useless. a laborer i worked with for years tore his on the jobsite and due to a series of company moves to avoid a loss time injury report, and then the insurance company’s efforts to treat it on the cheap, it was over 6 months before he was diagnosed and then during the rehab the physical therapist was of the mindset that the process needed to hurt and retore his bicep tendon. he’s not a laborer any more.
Certainly not. I’m not sure I’d want CVS in that part of my business. They’re already annoying enough.
I make a point to keep my GP informed about the other docs I’m seeing (only a couple), what they say, and what they describe. She’s been a real ace at diagnosing, so I go by her reactions.
@OzarkHillbilly: I know some men and women in your area who would be glad to express your displeasure — in court.
@A Ghost To Most:
@OzarkHillbilly: Thanks! Feel better, and don’t let your masculinity get all toxic, there. :)
YIKES! Thanks, I will pass that along. You be careful not to over do it now, let that stem rest & heal well.
@Immanetize: so do i, but in my experience lawyers are to be professionally avoided like the plague, because they are the only winners. i could have sued after the last time w/ the aspirated pneumonia but chose not too.
i make an exception for traffic court. i learned the hard way to ALWAYS get a lawyer no matter how minor the ticket may appear. it took me awhile after moving out here but we found a good one for that stuff.
@Immanentize: Say hi to Broome County for me.
We had a great pharmacist at the local grocery where we get our stuff. He was very good about looking out for us & letting us know about things to avoid or if it looked like prescriptions might cause problems. Maybe I got spoiled.
But the fact is they are one point were all that crap comes together so, even though you have a very valid concern I still wonder if they could not be a valuable ‘alarm’ system
Dorothy A. Winsor
@OzarkHillbilly: Ooh ow. Feel better.
@Skepticat: Take 85 to Montgomery.
@raven: The 65 to the easy.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@WereBear: Good for you! Reviews are precious. For one thing, the sheer number of them mixed with some accounting for the stars affects how much Amazon will push your book to other readers. And some reader went to extra effort, which was a pure gift.
My GP has everyone bring the bottles in so he knows dosage and such.
Also, like everything else, the FDA has been flooded with dirty money, and side effects are screened out of test populations, then not reported, and then denied they exist.
So more diligence is required, not less.
@Immanentize: please don’t take my above reply as a slam on lawyers, i have several very good friends who are lawyers and they are all very ethical people that i greatly admire. it’s just that the best result i ever got in a court of law was a ‘draw’.
The Pale Scot
Rod Serling has the video tape
The Twilight Zone: The Lonely
@Schlemazel: At this point an app could be written, and probably should be.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@ian: My fello olds may remember Eliza from the 70s. It was a text based psychiatrist emulator, very limited language understanding. Example: you compose a long complicated sentence with the word “dream” or “mother”. It says “Tell me more about your dream /mother”.
People confided in that program, felt it was really sympathetic and understanding, treated it like a real therapist.
There’s some scary lesson in there about our need to anthropomorphize and fool ourselves.
@Dorothy A. Winsor: It’s like the numbers of those who comment on a site and those who lurk :)
But yes, it is thrilling! Due to lack of crazy billionaire cash and being an #IndieAuthor, slow and steady –via word of mouth– is going to be my marketing.
Hope you are feeling more like yourself lately, after that health thing of your own.
I’d find it hard to give up BJ, but site response time has gone to hell. Example: I got to BJ in the line I just typed before any characters appeared. If I go to another page and come back, I get a blank page with what I presume is a page loading icon spinning around for several second before the page appears. If I scroll down the page goes black for seconds before the screen rewrites.
Cole is doing this because he hates us, naturally.
AI is going to take 95% of all jobs doctors do today.
Please Enter Your Symptoms one per line:
when did these start?
. . . . . .
Tests ordered see attendant for directions
tests are run & read by AI & Rx script is forwarded electronically to the pharmacy of your choice
Have a healthy day and please stop at Robodoc for all your health related needs
Honestly, the last visit with my cardiologist I doubt he could tell you the color of my hair. He spent the entire visit talking to any typing on his computer
It’s only different if you make it be different.
I am not having that issue, is it just BJ for you? And the obligatory: What are you using?
I have chrome on chromebook currently but also chrome on droid and Firefox on Win10 none are displaying this – it sounds painful for sure
@Skepticat: I don’t think you’ll have any lodging issues south of Charlotte. Hold er tween the ditches.
The real problems commenced when that willow tree came into the picture, sucking up the juice from Balloon Juice.
@Schlemazel: I’m having mild vertigo issues and my seats are in the second row in the upper deck!!!
@rikyrah: The fact that he brought that calendar just proves that he has lived in a bubble for a long time. I’ve been trying to stay away from the details but my husband looked at it for two minutes and said — “what a party boy!” In other words, Kavanaugh seemed to believe that the calendar was exculpatory because it didn’t obviously show an appointment for a drunken house party during the week. Drunken house parties would definitely have been scheduled! And limited to weekends only! (Which also doesn’t seem to be true.) No impromptu weeknight parties for the young Catholic gentleman! I mean, come on.
I am actually somewhat impressed that Mark Judge had an actual high school kind of job of the kind I might have had. I don’t know why everything else about him seems to be so effed up.
@NotMax: no, that’s the natural order of things. me heap big strong man can do anything.
Desktop version of the site has been noticeably more wonky than usual over the past several days. But it comes and goes with seemingly no rhyme nor reason.
Just BJ, running Firefox with Windows 10.
@Schlemazel: It is their own fault. The “art of diagnosis” has gone straight to hell.
I waited 3 months with a life-threatening condition to see an endocrine specialist who only compared numbers, had to be threatened into a lab test, did it wrong, ignored the results, and thought I needed Prozac.
I could have replaced him with a spreadsheet.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
So my old used laptop blew up yesterday. I’m in the middle of building the new used laptop. I realized as I was looking at the almost dead screen and the unresponsive trackpad that I hadn’t backed up in a couple of months. So I plugged the Time Machine disk in to the USB port that only works 50% of the time and hoped and waited a couple of hours.
The new one says I had a backup from 10 am yesterday so that apparently worked, but many of my apps did not restore. Going to have to reinstall I guess.
It’s in the middle of doing an initial automatic backup now, which looks like it will take hours.
Per Alain, supposedly by around October 15th all the old nagging problems will be things of the past.
(And we can then look forward to fresh, shiny new problems.)
I’ll admit, as an apartment dweller that still gets choked up thinking about the dog I was raised with dying of old age when I was just a teen that, if you offered me a medium-breed sized, high fidelity robotic equivalent (none of this hard plastic crap), I’d probably jump at the chance to own one.
I love dogs but don’t have the space for one. This? For many its won’t be the same, but it’ll be close enough.
@rikyrah: I am still processing that it is posted by Faith Hill. I did not know she was a Michelle Obama fan….
Hmph….believe it when I see it. On the other hand I just cleared cache and it does seem better.
@eric: faith and her hubby are big time Dems/progressives
@Jeffro: i usually know that sort of thing….thanks.
@PenAndKey: Why not a cat? A REAL cat?
@PenAndKey: My chihuahua lives for love and needs almost no space. The biggest risk with a live dogs are problems with temperament.
@eric: Any person with integrity and emotional honesty should be a fan of Michelle Obama.
my best friend got an Alexa or Siri or something for christmas. I think she’s become attached to it emotionally–Alexa, tell me a joke, play me a song,etc. She doesn’t want to be bothered with a pet, so maybe it’s an inanimate companion but it kinda freaks me out. My cat is an ornery ol’ curmudgeon but we get along. If I yell at her to leave me alone or get off the countertop, she just does it, and that’s enough company for me. I find the electronic companion very creepy especially because I don’t know what it is transmitting/recording or to whom that data is sent.
@danielx: i have the same and get the spinning wheel too, but only when i first start up in the am and when i am away from the computer long enough for it to fall asleep and it happens to any websites i have opened up.
Clearing history, cookies, etc etc did seem to help; try it.
And because it’s so good, a repeat of something Ella posted yesterday –
Samuel L. Jackson meets Brett Kavanaugh
@rikyrah: And a lot of people don’t need that. Emotionally complex dogs are too much for some people.
@rikyrah: Be best! I don’t care, do u?//
@The Pale Scot:
That episode was on MeTV just last night (this morning).
A Ghost To Most
Everybody is pissed as hell.
Even the normally calm and/or comedic are enraged.
I hope it grows.
Cheryl from Maryland
My husband is so allergic to pet dander that we can’t even visit a place where a dog or cat have been. So, a little sympathy for those who might want an animatronic pet because of allergies. Although so far this blog and the Dodo Channel fill the void caused by the fact that we can’t have a pet.
Alexa…Suri..they creep me out. Will never get one.
Take 2 of these & check your fitbit in the morning
I agree with raven: I-85 to Montgomery, I-65 to Mobile, I-10 to New Orleans. I’ve done that whole route in different pieces many times. Boring in stretches but speedy.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym:
part of the problem is that when they think they her a horse they look for a horse – pasta help you if you are a zebra
But all an AI doctor is really is a spreadsheet.
A Ghost To Most
@Cheryl from Maryland: I’m no expert, but aren’t poodles free of dander?
The Moar You Know
The robot dog doesn’t move in anywhere near the same way a real dog would in greeting another dog – I guarantee you that whatever the real dog was thinking, it was NOT “is this a real dog?”
Robot dog for a pet? Fuck that, I’ll just go and find a suitably sized rock. No device in the world could replace my golden retriever. Real dogs have feelings, souls, and are a lot smarter than people give them credit for.
That being said, most people should not own dogs (very, very few are willing to put in the year to two years of full-time training a pup that a real dog requires to be a ‘good dog’) and a robot dog might just be what’s appropriate for those folks.
@A Ghost To Most: not sure but old volley balls washed up on a beach are.
Blech indeed. Please just rest and don’t push yourself. There will be lots of that when your shoulder has healed enough for PT. Is the woofmeister a good nurse?
@rikyrah: Why Alexa and Siri don’t remind people of HAL is beyond me. Oh, actually not — they don’t know who or what HAL is because they are SO MUCH YOUNGER than I am.
@MomSense: he loves his pettin’s, so does percy, so they keep my blood pressure down
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@rikyrah: What could possibly go wrong with a device which is listening to every word you say in your house, 24/7, and is also connected to a server on the internet?
This sounds like the premise for a national lampoon movie. Good luck to you!
@The Moar You Know: The real potential value for these kinds of robotic animals is for people who have pathologies that make them unsuitable to care for a real animal but who can derive benefits from animal companionship. For instance, an elderly person with dementia whose agitation is calmed by being able to hold or pet an animal.
I’m glad for that. Right now your body needs lots of good sleep to heal.
leonard pitts: When the history of this era is written, who’ll be to blame?
and i’m outa here. good day, all
Occasionally if I’m watching wildlife shows on the tube my dogs watch too. Not surprisingly they pretty much ignore most critters but the dog/wolf shows keep their interest. Of course I’ve driven all my dogs over time to bark at Pink Floyd’s Animals being played (loudly) over my stereo. I live on the edge of town next to ag fields and most times if a fire truck runs up the near by road the coyotes all sing to the siren. The local dogs do too but the coyotes seem to be more musical. Less bark, more howl.
Interesting species social interactions.
@MomSense: ‘good sleep’ is a thing of the past for me.
They have their uses. ;)
@Barbara: Too right!
@Schlemazel: Actually, the answer to THAT one is easy. In calculus, if you divide by zero you actually get an answer: Infinity. Infinity isn’t a number, but it IS a concept, and you can program a robot with it pretty damned easily.
Ask the robot to DEFINE infinity, on the other hand, THEN you’ll get your meltdown. ^.^
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@rikyrah: She’s coming to Philly to promote her book on Nov 29. And not to a bookstore either, she’s going to a stadium,
Which, alas, is already sold out.
I even thought about paying through the nose for the ridiculously overpriced VIP tickets. But those are sold out too.
@Skepticat: I love Priceline. I think it can save a lot on hotel costs. Check them out each day as you have a sense where you will be stopping at night.
Good luck with your travels. Road trips are great. Hope the cats are good travelers.
As someone with a pretty debilitating mental health condition who also suffers from chronic pain and fatigue, a number of comments here have been kinda upsetting:
Probably the biggest category of people who would benefit from the eventual availability of emotionally competent robot pets are those of us with a physical, emotional, or mental disability that can’t consistently tend to the needs of another living thing, as just tending to our own is sometimes beyond our abilities.
Every single relationship we have, whether a pet or another human, comes with a moral and ethical question and related fundamental sense of insecurity as to whether the strain we place on the other party to have to deal with our symptoms and limitations is okay. With humans at least there’s agency, so we can develop trust about it, but it’s really complicated with pets.
So to those who view the benefit to this kind of stuff to be entirely about feeding narcissism, please remember that there are many reasons why someone might not be able to properly care for a pet and that just not caring enough about the needs of said pet is only one of them.
@Barbara: “I can’t do that, Barbara.”
@OzarkHillbilly: Books on tape? Send your wife to the library to get some (I came around to offering errands to someone who likes to be helpful, so he could have fun and I could be left alone for awhile.)
@Eolirin: great comment. Thanks. ?
@Eolirin: I understand, having a husband with a chronic illness and being run down for years before I got a diagnosis.*
I think we are mostly skeptical of the benefits, but since the drawbacks can be considerable in terms of time and energy and money, you have a good point.
After all, with real beings, there’s a certain amount of routines that soothe with their repetition.
*Had to do it myself, on the Internet. Now I am one of those people. Confirmed officially.
“Bless her heart.”
Be best, Melania, be best.
@Aleta: Thank you back! :)
seems to me these “fans” that heckled and walked out of Wanda Sykes must be related to the “fans” that were surprised Willie Nelson supports Beto.
Welp, that was a waste of 20 minutes of AMJoy she will never get back. I don’t know why they keep doing this.
Cheryl from Maryland
@A Ghost To Most: Nope. My uncle had poodles. We couldn’t visit him. Also every other dander free dog. I have to wash my clothes if I visit a friend who has a pet.
@Skepticat: Do tell about your travel plans. Are you going to the Bahamas, or just transporting gear? Are the cats island bound? (Are they good sailors, too?)
Pictures of traveling cats, please!
Cheryl from Maryland
@Eolirin: Well said. Thank you.
@Corner Stone: I ran into a Tea Partier and his wife last night, while out canvassing for my Democratic candidate.
They were just livid about the BK hearings; all upset. Het up. I made sympathetic faces and thanked them for their response while smiling inwardly. Stuff like that makes my nights.
Woody Allen predicted this in Sleeper. “Does he leave little batteries on the floor?”
@Eolirin: Great comment. I hope some visiting pets are in your future, if you would enjoy interacting with them.
In your present condition you could probably convince the doctor to give you drugs for that. At least try to take it easy.
Well said! Thank you.
I hung in there as long as I could, but I had to flip over to soccer. I do give Joy props for halting the right-wingers and not letting them just spew their “fake news” unchallenged.
Going back now to see if the coast is clear.
. . . Damn, this bish—Carrie Sheffield from Accuracy in Media—is still on! WTF.
@WereBear: The time horizon may be 20 years instead of 10, but I honestly don’t see anything that’s fundamentally unsolvable at a technical level in terms of developing sufficient emotional intelligence to recognize how an owner is feeling and then applying appropriate behaviors to attempt to generate certain reactions in the owner and, and this is the important bit, the capacity to learn and modify what those behaviors are based on the feedback of repeated interactions. The complications are the edge cases and there are many of them, but the core mechanisms you’d need to stitch together are mostly there already.
And to note, while that may seem coldly manipulative, it’s in fact what an actual dog is already doing.
Only in details. In hindsight, it will be overwhelmingly obvious to historians that this was racist backlash. Unlike political commentators today, historians will have no reason to protect the feefees of the economically anxious. The only exception will be in the pockets where white racists continue to be in charge, where this period will be explained with something as ludicrous and insane as the pretense the Civil War was about ‘state’s rights.’
@WereBear: Even I wanted to smash HAL to pieces!
Clearly then, it’s buy a Dalmatian and find a Mike to run it. ;-)
We’ve had two: Bruno and Gracie. Bruno was dumped at six months, groomed and sporting a bow, at a country home owned by folks known to take in strays. Wife.gov found him via Petfinders and the next thing I knew, we had our first dog. He managed to eat some lawn furniture during his two-month country stay and also the leash as he was being driven home. Were those cues?
He proved smart as a whip, playful and yeah, needed lots of exercise. Luckily we were both still runners at the time. He also developed purine intolerance–a breed tendency along with deafness and skin problems–and needed surgery to remove bladder stones and a lifetime of medication and special diet. He nevertheless made it sixteen years, eventually felled by lung cancer.
We survived without a dog all of three months before finding our second rescue Dal Gracie, who was Bruno’s opposite–B-type personality who we guessed had been taken from mom too soon, because the poor thing never learned to play (Bruno would have fetched until he dropped dead, something I almost accomplished one extremely hot day).
Gracie managed to live fifteen years. Between the two of them we’re still sweeping up white and black hair, of the breed it is said they “only shed twice/year: day and night.” Bruno’s had the capacity to drill into clothing like porcupine quills, Gracie was softer and hers would at least brush off.
I still recommend Dalmatians to the right family, because they can be delightful and they’re really photogenic for the Instagram era. But the breeder must be scrupulously ethical so as to avoid known health issues.
I mentioned last week that wife.gov left a bit of Bruno and Gracie with Jim Morrison. I hope they’re having fun and that Jim doesn’t mind the collection of fourteen tennis balls he’s tripping over.
@Cheryl from Maryland: Is it hair, skin cells or drool? Do you know which one(s)? My nephew is allergic to the drool and grew up with schnauzers and couldn’t be around my bloodhounds. Obviously. You could, if you haven’t already, look into the xoloitzcuintli or the Peruvian Inca Orchid since they are hairless. Which may not be your jam or be possible for your husband.
Re detecting lies in interviews (been seeing a few articles saying that it’s barely better than chance) this review might be helpful:
Active Deception Detection (Timothy R. Levine, 2014)
But note that there is an enormous (dauntingly so) amount of literature including arguments against aspects of Levine’s body of work.
Table 1 is helpful; it gives results of various studies, passive, passive with context, and active.
Kavanaugh’s testimony is no exactly passive; we know the context, and we can identify some lies in the testimony (e.g. about his yearbook).
The meta study that people are throwing around that says that lie detection by people is barely better than chance is partially obsolete:
Accuracy of Deception Judgments Bond and DePaulo (2006)
 Latest I saw: A re-analysis that supports our main results: A reply to Levine et al.
Just need someone else to see this. Fuck this guy.
Going to a Wanda Sykes performance and being “surprised” at her slagging on Trump is like going to Outback Steakhouse and wondering why the menu has so few vegetarian choices.
“Your shock is noted.”
I like it when my cats surprise me.
Like I explained to Tristan that I accidentally almost stepped on recovering feral Mithrandir and now he’s worried I’ll do it again and would he please explain it was an accident?
24 hours later Mithy was in my lap again.
I guess if you had two robots, properly programmed…
@The Pale Scot:
One of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes, and sparked my early love of SF. And I’ve always loved robot (and time travel stories).
@Thursday: You mean “fuck him” because he incorrectly uses the word “capital” in the first sentence?
@Barbara: it was summer so no reason they couldn’t have had a party any day and Judge says his job at the grocery was temporary to get the money for a specific purpose not a long term thing.
I do. I very much do. Machine Learning has terrible limits. It goes its own unpredictable directions, and that’s why we use it. When you try to put that into emotional interactions with people, it rapidly becomes gibberish, dangerous, an asshole, or all three. It has no context, no sense of what humans approve of, and if you could program that in you wouldn’t need machine learning. What we can do now produces fantastic results with weird (often very weird) holes, and that’s not going to cut it for an AI, pet level or otherwise. You really don’t want your robo-pup deciding the house plant is you.
@OzarkHillbilly: That so sucks! I hope you recover and heal quickly!
It’s been bothering me two days who Kavanaugh reminds me of and suddenly it gelled: Glenn from “Superstore.”
Actually, thinking on it the single biggest problem with robot pets may end up being the fundamental tension between making them authentic enough to feel real and protecting their manufacturers from liability from property damage or injuries.
This has probably been discussed ad infinitum, but I have become so appalled by the way ads ruin the blog, I installed adblock on my laptop. Next I am doing it on my phone, which is where the effect of ads is worst. I want a way to subscribe to the blog and eliminate ads. Yes I kicked in via paypal above.
You are very fortunate to have to have someone who can and will help you. The logical thing is to look at having a care-giver as part of “doing things for” yourself, because you are actively choosing to accept help.
Had a neighbor who was recovering from some serious surgery who talked about wanting to do everything for himself. Sometimes, in the evening and at night, his yelps of frustration could be heard by me and everyone else in nearby apartments. He never learned, and could never adapt to his temporary change in circumstance. Fortunately, his recovery was good, but it meant that soon he came up with something else he had no control over to bitch about.
@rikyrah: I adore Faith Hill. I watched the Showtime documentary “Soul 2 Soul”, which is the story of their latest tour together. I cry at the end every time. Yeah, I know. I’m a real fan geezer girl.
Do you remember how they criticized Bush after Katrina? So few country stars speak out against Rethuglicans.
What could possibly go wrong with having an AI for your doctor?
@debbie: My previous doctor said that a big problem for older people (he’s in his 60’s) is undiagnosed/untreated thyroid. I really liked him, but he’s no longer in my Humana network.
@Corner Stone: @Steeplejack (phone): That was the worst. It was a waste, really of the rest of the guests she took so much time. I kept on muting bc she was filibustering & off topic. Willing to bet she monopolized the whole discussion with her digressions.
And now Alex Twitt has Kaley McAninny (RNC spokesperson) on her first segment. Sheesh.
@WereBear: I am loving this thread! Sorry that I am coming late to it, but hey, it’s still early out here in California.
Hmmm. I remember less enlightened times when some people (even some supposed “experts”) thought that pet owners were selfish because they could not relate well to other human beings. I think it inevitable that people will have robot companion animals.
And I always thought it was a fun idea that the Data, the AI crew member on Star Trek: The Next Generation had loved his pet cat, Spot.
Yep. When dogs roam together and breed, the offspring reverts to the more natural “mutt” level. There ain’t nothing “natural” about “pure breeds.”
@Schlemazel: I truly believe doctors just don’t know that much about medication. I would always ask my pharmacist first about how best to take meds and any interactions. They are trained to know that.
@Tenar Arha: I’ve seen people on twitter praising Joy for how she shut her down and corrected her in real time but I think that’s crap. Why book her in the first place? It is 100% predictable what she is going to say. The result is like betting on what’s going to happen if you leave a beer alone in a room with Kavanaugh.
It would be helpful to note when your links go to PDFs. Some devices don’t display the documents but immediately download them without warning.
@eric: She and Tim McGraw are both Democrats.
@Eolirin: Excellent points, all.
James E Powell
Maybe because they saw what happened to the Dixie Chicks. RWers are ruthless in enforcing orthodoxy.
@Frankensteinbeck: The behaviors are modeled on actual animals, so it doesn’t need to be applied the same ways. You’d use machine learning not for determining how the robot will act but to determine which set of preprogrammed behaviors to decide between. Or how to tweak those behaviors inside predetermined parameters. And you’d be optimizing for specific reactions from the human. Chatbots or human like conversation/relationships are dramatically harder to imbue with emotion. Pets are pretty simple in comparison. They basically just need to move in ways that humans associate with a handful of emotions and our brains will fill in the gaps.
Image recognition is good enough for being able to consistently identify individuals and distinguish between object categories, and it’s getting decent at understanding emotional states, and even at detecting where attention is being focused. The risk of a robot misidentifying a potted plant for you is possible, but low, and will only become lower over time. And pets and humans make similar visual misidentifications all the time, just in different ways. It’s only a problem if it’s systemic.
I think context is actually a bit of a confused concept too. I don’t think it’s established that what we think of as being able to understand context, especially at this level where you’re not trying to do more than create authentic feeling animal responses, isn’t simply a matter of having enough different types of correlated data. Being a robot actually helps here, as you can correlate multiple sensor data in real time.
But as far as emotional intelligence goes for animal stand ins? We don’t expect our animals to have a deep understanding of context either. Just to recognize and respond to the presence of it. Pets are a great entry point for this kind of thing.
James E Powell
I believe it’s because their bosses tell them they have to do it. Whether that’s for ratings, for advertisers, or maybe for the right-wing politics of the owners, I do not know.
@debbie: Oh, thank you for that link! I had heard about the sketch but never saw it. It is brilliant. I’m laughing so hard I almost, well, never mind. (“Alecia! Where are my Depends?”)
@Corner Stone: The Democrat Adrienne Elrod seems more problematic to me. She’s rambling, incoherent, and is letting the Republican operative filibuster. If Elrod had a high position in HRC’s communications shop, it’s no wonder the shop had problems. I’ve rarely seen such a tone-deaf, message-challenged Democrat on TV.
I know! I give up. Twiddling my thumbs until Chelsea-Liverpool.
Your spider sense is probably correct. Unless things have changed doctors for the most part have one semester of pharmacology while board-certified pharmacists have at least a couple of years plus continuing education requirements.
My university had a school of pharmacy and I knew a lot of pharm majors. The model is that they would play a role in patient evaluation and recommending a treatment protocol. IIUC this occasionally happens in hospitals and clinics that have a pharmacist doing rounds with the docs. In reality it’s probably damn rare. Getting a doctorate in pharmacy to then go out to “spill and fill” at Walmart is a criminal underuse of a valuable resource.
I foresee to robot dog-fights and attack dogs…..cause you know that’s going to happen.
I praise Joy for the real-time corrections, but that doesn’t mean I’m happy with her having these hacks on in the first place. I think they’re mandated by management, or maybe Joy’s misguided attempt to “reach out” to the other side. But you can’t have a real discussion when all they do is parrot the same pre-packaged talking points.
I agree. Yeah, machine learning has its limits, but those limits may be perfectly acceptable and reasonable for a certain level of human/robot interaction.
Engineers and others in Japan, for example are experimenting with various kinds of companion devices for very practical reasons: there is a large population of seniors, and society has changed so that younger relatives cannot be depended upon to take care of aging relatives.
There seems to be much less Western bias towards companion or helper devices, less sense that somehow these aids are transgressive. And because I love the debate over this issue, I have been waiting for an opportunity to mention and link to this fun story about attitudes toward artificial pets:
There are kids growing up who have always had access to Siri and Alexa and whoever Google’s assistant might be. I think many of these kids, as adults, will have a very different attitude with respect to artificial companion and helper devices, including robot pets.
Major Major Major Major
@Eolirin: @Frankensteinbeck: I don’t think anybody is talking about putting a full-blown hard AI into a robot dog. A couple friends of mine (a fiction writer, and an AI expert) are actually working for a therapy-chatbot company right now that has “keeping the elderly company now and then” as a core feature. It’s reasonably popular with the users, and they intentionally aren’t using anything even remotely fancy on the conversation engine, precisely because that’s only good for very narrowly-scoped problems right now. Still, existing technology is good enough for this level of human interaction, if you believe their users.
I’d be curious what BJ’s legal minds have to say about the quality of Kavanaugh’s judicial opinions. We keep on hearing that he’s a brilliant jurist but I’m having a hard time matching that with the figure we’ve seen in these hearings. In the first hearing, he showed none of the finesse or wit we saw with Kagan or Roberts. Even Alito, whom I loathe, made an effort to cite precedent. Kavanaugh just seems crude.
It did not occur to the Republican Senate leaders who brought her in that the prosecutor would do what a prosecutor does.
Thius is why I go to just one place for all my medical needs: the University of Malaya Medical Centre. I reckon that protects me from what Heath Ledger died of.
@James E Powell: Very true. But Faith and Tim have not experienced the intense backlash The Chicks did (I love the Chicks too). Judging from what I saw on Showtime Doc about their latest tour they’re packing them in. They also have African American musicians and back up singers on stage (don’t know for sure if that is rare for Country stars). Maybe it’s because they’ve not voiced political opinions on stage or because Tim (a male) is part of the equation.
I hope they know better than to take on my laser-topped Roomba. It’s invincible!
@Kathleen: They be Ya’ll ternative.
Major Major Major Major
@raven: @Kathleen: It’s also fifteen years later. (Thirteen?)
@trollhattan: Plus and I hate to say it, I’m sure many doctors are still too reliant on pharm sales reps for their information.For many years pharm companies provided perks to docs who prescribed their meds. I think that practice has stopped but am not sure. The daughter of a friend (pediatric cardiologist) is getting her PhD in Pharmacology with the goal of working in a hospital. The role you described for a pharmacist should be standard operating procedure. While meds have their place, wrong prescriptions/interactions/patient allergies can lead to a host of problems, as has been described here.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@tobie: I heard somebody say he’s known as a “brilliant writer”. In the bits and bobs I’ve been able to stomach, from his testimony and that fox interview, he looked like a fool, stammering out the same talking points over and over again. “I was first in my class, an athlete, I worked my tail off….”, and that was after almost a week of rehearsals
Hmmm…just noticed something I haven’t seen before. I had paused a YouTube video yesterday and went back to finish today and saw the little yellow tabs marking ads in a couple places. They weren’t there yesterday, so YT added them overnight?
Good question. I’ve been wondering about that myself.
@Major Major Major Major: I would think if anything hard core right wing country fans would have become more virulent.
You might also take a look a Ublock Origin. Very effective.
I agree with you about the most intrusive, and “takeover ads” that refuse to let you dismiss them. This is especially a pain on tablets and phones, where they make it harder for you to navigate around them.
And IIRC you’ve made that point before, sorry and sigh.
BTW the article that triggered me was this (not pdf), which referenced the 2006 study. I’m just a little irritated that the work subsequent to the 2006 study has been ignored; I don’t know the author (who could well be sincere), but it smells a bit like narrative-spinning to reinforce the he-said-she-said narrative.
Why Humans Are Bad At Spotting Lies (Maggie Koerth-Baker, Sep 28.2018)
This is an interesting paragraph (bold mine) about cognitive bias:
I expect that this argument will be deployed as well in the several days/week.
@Shana: Anyone else notice the Kavanaugh & Judge and the like are exactly the:
they always claim POC and women (and all those other “people” they don’t have to acknowledge) are like?
Project much, conservatives?
@OzarkHillbilly: Wishing you the best. If you are stuck on that porch, I hope the book is a good one.
And waving at efgoldman. Come back, dude!
@MagdaInBlack: Robot dog fights. The mind reels.
And there we have it, ladies and gentlemen: Amir has hit on the central insight into the modern-day GOP. The concept that “actions have consequences” appears to be an utterly foreign one to them.
Major Major Major Major
@bemused senior: @Brachiator: I use AdGuard on my iPhone and Safari, free, works great.
@Kathleen: I believe the genre has fractured and diversified, just like every other genre.
Your honor, I will rephrase the question. Am I the first one to notice that the graph looks like the onset of erectile disfunction?
@Brachiator: I had U-block, and it worked a treat. Till suddenly Safari decided that it wouldn’t. Now I have Ad-Block, which worked fine till a few days ago, when I get the pop-up telling me that it’s out of date and now I need to go to the Mac App Store to get Ad-Block Plus, which I have so far refused to do. So now I see some annoying ads, but not a lot. Plus, I’m starting to really get over my Apple Mac infatuation. My old laptop was great, this one sucks dead rat thru’ a straw by comparison. Apple, I officially pronounce you Overrated, post-Jobs.
Yes he has, and yes it is. But after the appalling performance of Kavanaugh yesterday, it is no wonder. The guy would have to pull out an axe and go after a Republican to get in trouble.
Everything else is a pass.
I’m not sure how durable the attachment to a robotic dog is, at least as long as it’s relatively simple. I got a Tamagotchi-style robot dog which could bark/growl/whimper, incline its head, and wag its tail, all in varying degrees to reflect its emotional state, which was influenced by how much and how you interacted with it and by what music it heard. It was cute for about 2 weeks and then it got tiresome. I didn’t bother with an Aibo because I figured it would be a similar story with a somewhat longer cute period.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I was vaguely aware of Hemingway for a while I swear I’d seen her referred to as part of the legendary (like Bigfoot) ‘intellectual right’. I saw a clip of her on Fox during the campaign and she was just angrily screaming out buzzwords, “BENGHAZI!…. EMAILS!”
No matter how many times I watch it, I still crack up. That Echo sigh was me with my mom. I got away with it as long as she wasn’t looking…
Major Major Major Major
I sometimes forget to adjust for different operating systems. I had an iPad that I loved, but otherwise don’t use Apple devices. Nothing against them. I have Android tablets and phones, and a Windows PC. And a lightweight Chromebook for travel.
The main message is that there are good ad blockers for every market segment.
ETA: I still see a lot of Apple devices being used by students and writers, judging by what I see at various coffee shops (and oddly enough, McDonalds, where folks hang out a lot).
Yeah, and Moore’s law has stopped working for Macs too. My 6yo laptop is 2.7 gigahertz quad-core with 8 GB memory. A comparable higher-end Mac laptop today is 2.9 gigahertz 6-core with 16 GB memory. Not a compelling improvement for 6 years.
The ethics and morality of today’s republicans and their evangelical and fundamentalist base is their devotion to the foundational doctrine of Transactional Utility as preached by Republican Jesus in his sermon on the Mar-a-Lago back nine as reported in the New New Testament.
@A Ghost To Most: As the fictitious Senator Bulworth once said: Everybody keep fuckin’ everybody ’till we’re all the same color.
Major Major Major Major
@Fair Economist: but it has a Touch Bar now!! //
@debbie: I have to confess that I am not the greatest with technology so I was totally relating to the characters depicted! Have you seen the AARP ads on TV for “GrandPods”, devices that olds can easily use to email, face chat, surf, etc.? I wonder if this sketch inspired development of that product.
Earlier here I linked to a story about a Buddhist memorial service that was held for 114 robot dogs. Among the notes from owners:
Humans are sometimes balls of empathy, capable of all manner of affection for things.
A Ghost To Most
Never saw Bulworth, but we’d all be better for it. Enough of tribalism.
Major Major Major Major
Like books. They’re just dumb piles of wood that say the same things over and over!
Via Reddit, good cartoon from Houston Chronicle
A Ghost To Most
@Fair Economist: I’m still using my first gen Surface Pro from 2013. Haven’t had the need to upgrade yet.
@Brachiator: What I’m wondering is how these robot dogs, er…died. Battery failure? Dismemberment by actual dogs? Or did their humans…*kill* them, somehow, so they could have a funeral? (*sinister laughter*)
Whoo, boy, my mind is going to some weird places lately.
Innovation seems to be moving to smartphones (and even here slowing down) and virtual reality devices (which may be a small niche dead end).
A Ghost To Most
Major Major Major Major
@Brachiator: and magnetic tape! https://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/hardware/why-the-future-of-data-storage-is-still-magnetic-tape
“No more dilly-dallying, Fido. It’s high time you had a bath.”
What are your blockers of choice for (a) Android phone/tablet and (b) Chromebook? All I’ve seen for (a) is a stand-alone browser. Haven’t looked for (b).
Clemson may need 2 QB’s!
Cheryl from Maryland
@Bunter: Thank you for your concern and suggestions, but my husband has been to several doctors to discuss this issue. We have been working on this issue for multiple decades. Pets are right out.
@Brachiator: With 7+ billion people in the world, you can find people into or believing almost anything. Of course there are some people who can become emotionally attached to a robodog. I am definitely not one of them – the fact that they are fake comes up quickly with me. It’s not that I can’t get attached to a pet either – I love my rabbit. My suspicion, based on the long-term failure of the assorted electro- and robo- companions, is that there are far more like me and only a few of the people who would feel the need for a funeral for a robodog. Even in Japan, 114 people is literally one in a million. I’ll wager there are millions of Japanese with pet ash urns or pet graves they visit occasionally, and likely most of the population has at least grieved the loss of a pet.
@Miss Bianca: I didn’t realize how expensive and what a hot fad these robot doggies were:
Indeed, who knows what was behind a lot of the robot doggie doom!
@NotMax: Oh, God, LOL! That is a *terribly* funny scenario – with the accent on the “terribly”.
@Brachiator: Moore’s law (feature size goes down by 2X every 18 months) is still alive and kicking, but not for much longer. What died about 15 years ago was Dennard scaling, that said as feature size went down, clock speed went up. Consequently, we can have the same compute capability on a phone (or even a watch) that we could only get had on a laptop previously, while the laptop / desktop performance has stalled (clock speed has been stuck at ~3GHz since the mid-2000s). Or you can get lots more processing elements on a standard-sized chip, but they are *much* harder to program.
I hold a Grand Championship-level skill in anthropomorphism, so I have no problem at all imagining that robot versions of living creatures can develop personalities, including ornery ones. Cars have been doing this since forever. I sorta-kinda believe automata strive towards a Platonic ideal of themselves: machines are happy and contented when doing what they’re designed to do, and doing it well.
IOW, I think robot companions will surprise people, pleasantly and unpleasantly.
That doesn’t mean they can or should replace biological creatures. They’ll simply fill different niches. I would never have a robot dog or cat while I have living pets – living pets are individuals, as emotionally and psychologically complex as humans, and the challenge/reward of getting to know that Other is to my mind an essential part of the joy of having pets.
Robots can’t do that, because so much of the ability to do that is rooted in being a biological creature. But they can do other things we may decide are important, too.
You make a stronger case for this than I’d initially thought possible. Cool. I think it’ll take longer than the ten years that Kevin Drum mentions, though.
Pets are simpler than humans, in terms of raw cognition, but I think they’re also less well understood. We don’t have good models of animals’ emotional intelligence, at least as far as I know, in part because our models of emotional intelligence in humans lags behind our understanding of the rational side of our intelligence. Maybe model-free machine learning can overcome this obstacle; we don’t necessarily care about the difference between imitation and “real” emotion in a pet.
Another issue is physical performance. I don’t think we’ll get to the general fluidity of animal movement in robot pets for a few more decades, and there may remain cues that trigger an uncanny valley reaction in people. That’s not to say that the goal is to fool people into thinking a robot pet is real, but rather that I think it’s an open question about how similar our relationships will be when we can tell it’s a robot we’re hugging.
@Miss Bianca: I don’t go through the Apple store either. So annoying.
I use Safari too. Re ABPlus — I checked and I can still download it (it’s free) directly from the ABP site.
The ‘AB doesn’t work message’ only comes up for one site I go to, right now. So I have to uncheck the extension for that one, but otherwise still have it on, with ABP too.
So far I’ve refused to update past OSSierra. I understand that newer OS lets you customize some blocks individually by site, but am told that updating the OS can cause a lot of headaches.
True enough. One the other hand, Japan and Korea are notable for being cultures that are noted for “grand gesture” displays of public acknowledgment of affection for beloved and loyal pets, that go beyond even private funerals.
One day, if not already, we may see the animated adventures of Robot Lassie here in the US.
@Miss Bianca: Real dogs approached, sniffed, and lifted a leg on them.
Major Major Major Major
I dunno, the latest Boston Dynamics videos are getting pretty good…
Thanks all for the help. @MomSense: Lawd, it does, doesn’t it? Well, so does the rest of my life, come to think of [email protected]Elizabelle: Having a sense of anything might not be on the charts, but thanks for the suggestion. I’d be willing to drive straight through (I usually do twelve or thirteen hours at a time, thanks to books on CD), but I no longer can drive at night–especially in unfamiliar surroundings. It’ll be yet another adventure. I live in the Bahamas eight months a year, and the cats were born feral there. They’re good travelers in the car and the plane but not wildly enthusiastic about it. @Steeplejack (phone): For the boring, see books on CD above, but I do love me some speedy.
I figure there’s one good thing about two days in the car; I won’t be subjected to any political angst–apart from that I carry all the time.
@Fair Economist: Moore’s law stopped working for everyone because increasing clock speed past this point meant too much power consumption and — particularly relevant to a laptop — heat
Perhaps. We want faster and cheaper streaming of bigger and bigger blocks of data. Gamers appear to want more realistic and elaborate virtual 3D worlds. The capabilities of smartphones as portable utility devices is just emerging (I’m still waiting for a functioning portable medical tricorder). What level of tech do we need for this, and more?
@divF: Even if clock speed is limited, I would think they could at least cram more memory on. Whatever the reason it is a huge change from 1980 to 2005 when a 6 yo computer was a doorstop even if in perfect working order.
@Major Major Major Major: @Major Major Major Major:
Yeah, their demos are impressive. So I could easily be wrong about the timeline. It’s hard to tell how robust the behaviors are, and how much autonomy their robots have. “Fluid motion” was probably the wrong phrase for me to use.
ETA: Better batteries or new ways of powering portable devices is the big, big, tech elephant in the room.
Major Major Major Major
@RSA: I mean, it definitely looks like a robot dog with a robot snake head, but it looks so fluid and intelligent. ‘Looks’, of course (though I think the locomotion AI’s are pretty robust).
@Fair Economist: It’s because Apple doesn’t want to offer you something with more memory crammed in. It’s not a priority when they’re making the cases, and their computers are not moddable. You can get a similarly-sized PC with more memory.
@Aleta: Huh, funny, because when I go to the Ad Block Plus site, it directs me to the Apple Store. Hmmm…
@Major Major Major Major: Yow, that’s fairly incredible.
** I’ve seen this happen to women in abusive marriages who needed trips to the ER.
Also, I wonder if this is one piece of Repubs trying to dismantle Obama-Biden and feminist initiatives to make campus rape and school abuse policies include contacting law enforcement.
(Dianna Anderson, Why evangelicals dont believe in SA) (–snip–)
** I’ve seen this happen to women in abusive marriages who needed trips to the ER. Also, this is one of the reasons Repubs are trying to dismantle Obama-Biden and feminist initiatives to make campus rape and school abuse policies include contacting law enforcement.
Penis was the problem. The other words are okay.
I use uBlock Origin on my Chromebook. Lately, I have been using the Brave browser on my Android phone. I use the Firefox browser on my tablet. Oddly enough, I’m not sure what I am doing for ad blocking there.
I wouldn’t mind a way to tell firefox or whatever to flag certain correctly spelled words as misspellings.
Sister Golden Bear
@Brachiator: Japan also has a strong animist tradition that’s alive and well today. The comment by the Buddhist monk about everything having a little bit if soul is in line with that. So it wouldn’t be a stretch that the owners saw their robotic dogs as inanimate objects with souls as well.